Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Net books

You will probably all see a rash of pro netbook touting from me in the next few weeks. Those of you who have lived with me, and realize I'm more likely to carry my desktop to a friends house than buy a netbook right now are probably thinking "hypocrite".
First, this isn't actually true, I bought one of the worlds first netbooks, the NEC mobile pro 770, which was made in 1999 (Although the price point of $1200 -- read $1480.50 adjusted for inflation -- prevented me from buying one until 2005, when they dropped to just $99).
The real reason I won't be buying a netbook right now is usage. Netbooks are targeted at people who need a computer they can take with them easily everyday from when they leave the house. Primarily they are targeted at light file toting, web browsing, word processing, and limited media playback. They emphasize small size, light weight, and a long lasting battery. The reason I think they are great is that this specification envelope is perfect for 80% of Americans and they are CHEAP compared to a full blown laptop of similar quality, which they will probably outperform in most of the above listed tasks (especially battery life.)I simply wont be buying one because about 300 days of the year I am either on my college campus, within 500 feet of my dorm room, office, or the library, and 20 feet of a power outlet 99% of the time, or home, working 7 minutes from my house. With that kind of mobility, I classify devices into two categories, those that fit in my pocket, and those that don't.
So I'm not being hypocritical if I spend the next month or so trying to convince everybody who doesn't already have a recent laptop that they need a netbook.


Sir Nicholai said...

One of those might have been good for me currently. I'm traveling for four months, which means I can't bring my much beloved desktop (I haven't used a laptop as a laptop for 4 years, and don't believe they really suit my needs. I like huge resolutions for web browsing, and massive amounts of CPU and graphics power for gaming. Laptops have neither.) For now I am using a six year old laptop, which is painful, even for web browsing, because I'm used to having at least 1680x1050 pixels to work with. However, I think a netbook (although I don't have the budget for one right now) might have been a better thing to bring along, since it turns out all I'm doing is moderate web browsing and light word processing. I'd prefer to have 1280x800 resolution though, and having firefox with at least a few extensions would be nice. Can netbooks do that?

patrick said...

In reply to Sir Nicholai (hey it rhymes):
What you want is something like the HP 2140.
It should debut tomorrow at CES.
"Another interesting feature is the option of a high-resolution 1366x768 screen, which is a first in the 10-inch netbook market."
"The base version comes with the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive with 5400rpm and it costs $499. Users can configure their own version of the netbook, as they can choose to fit in the six-cell battery for $30, 2GB of ram, a faster 7200-rpm 160GB hard drive and Bluetooth 2.0."

Then you load it up with linux and your firefox extensions and your set.

Sir Nicholai said...

Oooo, pretty. I wish I had $500 to spend on that.

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